The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5) by Sarah J. Maas

the-assassins-bladePublished: March 4th 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Magic, Adventure

Pages: Hardcover, 435

Goodreads: 4.5

Discover where Celaena Sardothien’s thrilling saga began

Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom’s most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful and ruthless Assassin’s Guild, Celaena yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam.

When Celaena’s scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, she finds herself acting independently of his wishes—and questioning her own allegiance. Along the way, she makes friends and enemies alike, and discovers that she feels far more for Sam than just friendship. But by defying Arobynn’s orders, Celaena risks unimaginable punishment, and with Sam by her side, he is in danger, too. They will have to risk it all if they hope to escape Arobynn’s clutches—and if they fail, they’ll lose not just a chance at freedom, but their lives…

A prequel to Throne of Glass, this collection of five novellas offers listeners a deeper look into the history of this cunning assassin and her enthralling—and deadly—world.

Included in this volume:

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
The Assassin and the Healer
The Assassin and the Desert
The Assassin and the Underworld
The Assassin and the Empire

My review:

Because this book is really five novellas, I’ll just do a short review of each, then rate the whole book for simplicities sake.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord

I guess I was kind of surprised at first at how young Celaena seemed.  It took me a few chapters to finally remember that she’s only supposed to be sixteen in these books, not the nineteen year old that I’ve come to know and love. It’s different, not having the rest of the group around and seeing their interactions. I can also see the temper she had, one that I never really saw until Queen of Shadows. I guess by the time we meet Celaena in Throne of Glass she’s already been beaten and half broken by the salt mines anyway.

I would call this a glimpse into what Celaena’s life was like, but I would have liked to see more about her training, which might happen in the next novellas. I’m writing these reviews after I finish each one, so I have no idea what might happen next.

I was also happy to see the start of Sam and Celaena’s relationship. After reading so much about it in the full length books, I’m happy to actually see some of it.

The Assassin and the Healer

I really liked this little story. It wasn’t much, just a tidbit of Celaena growing into herself, even if she didn’t know it yet. Of course we get to see Celaena be all cool and kill people, but we also meet another character, a girl who could be Celaena in a different life. Irene very well could have been Celaena in another life if not for all the, well, the stuff that I’m not going to spoil in case you haven’t read the books.

I really hope this girl, Irene, makes an appearance in Empire of Storms or the untitled sixth book in the series. I think it would be great to see her again, and to see what she accomplished during the time of the story arch. I’m glad I got to see a little bit of this side of Celaena before the other books happened. Glad to know some things just won’t change for her.

The Assassin and the Desert

I’ll have to admit, within about thirty pages I was bored, but I think that’s mostly me being as easily distracted as I am. I pushed through it, and before I know, I’m already at the end. And this novella, well, it’s kind of emotional. I realize now how lonely Celaena was, how horrible it must have been to grow up in a place with only boys and men around. No wonder her taste in clothing and furniture is so rich! And of course, none of those people in that house were her friends.

Ansel was the first for Celaena, her first female friend. I started to really like her at the end of the short story, and I would really like to see more of her, just as I said about Irene. This also explains the relationship that Celaena had with Nehemia. I won’t go into details about that for the sake of spoilers for this novella and the whole Throne of Glass series.

I really enjoyed this one, and it explained some of the questions I had about the certain things in the series.

The Assassin and the Underworld

I find myself with more answered questions, some answers that I didn’t even knew I wanted. I guess I don’t really have to say much about this novella except that I now really hate Arobynn. I mean, I never really liked him for obvious reasons, but I feel I was never really given a reason to hate him. I think this is because, all except for a few scenes in Queen of Shadows there wasn’t much of him except to mention in passing. To actually witness first hand instead of being told about it, well, it’s made difference for me.

I had always wondered how Celaena had paid off her and Sam’s debt, especially since she can’t have been an assassin for very long. And that’s something I would like to know. At what age did Celaena actually start going on missions on her own? Sixteen seems a little young to have a reputation as large as hers, and I just wonder how it happened.

The Assassin and the Empire

I knew it was coming. Of course I knew because I read Throne of Glass before I even knew these novellas existed. I didn’t let myself grow to like Sam, or even hate him, because I knew exactly what was coming. Yet, it was still a shock as I read it. What was more hurtful to me though, was the very end. Not Sam, but Celaena, and how she ended up in the mines of Endovier. Just, the Celaena I know, this had already happened to her. It was hard to read.

 

Overall, I’m glad I read these, though I wish I had read them before I read Crown of Midnight or those after. I had a hard time putting the Celaena from the other books into these positions, though I guess that just show how much she has changed in the few years the books have shown us.

I’ll give this book ★★★★.5 stars, because while I enjoyed reading it, I had a hard time keeping focused. I blame this on myself, because I think I would have enjoyed these novellas more if I hadn’t already read more of Celaena’s story.

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